Iraq September Progress Reports

In September, 2007, the administration released a much anticipated progress report on the surge in Iraq. The Government Accounting Office came out with its own, less optimistic, assessment. Both reports looked at the 18 benchmarks of progress Congress set earlier in the year.

CJ lines up the tally from both reports below. Out of sheer laziness, we copy and paste directly from the GAO's report and a Washington Post summary of the White House report (pdf).

(The GAO came out with another progress report in June '08 and the Defense Department also provides quarterly updates on progress in Iraq. As summarized by the Washington Post, the GAO and administration continue to have different notions about how much progress has been made.)

- benchmark met, - benchmark partially met, - benchmark not met, no circle - too early to say

Benchmark GAO Report White House Report
Reviewing changes to the Iraqi Constittution. Committee formed but amendments not approved by the Iraqi legislature and no referendum scheduled. The Council of Representatives (COR) formed the Constitutional Review Committee CRC) on November 15, 2006, and constitutional review is underway.
Passing laws to ease de-Baathification and starting to act on those laws. Laws drafted. On August 26 the leaders of Iraq’s five major political groups announced an agreement ad been reached on, inter alia, draft de-Ba’athification legislation.
Passing laws to assure gas and gas profits will be fairly distributed to ethnic groups. 3 of 4 components drafted; none being considered by parliament. Discussions among Iraqi political leaders are ongoing, and this legislation remains primary focus for political party leaders.
Passing laws - and acting on them - on how to form semi-autonomous regions. Law enacted; implementation scheduled for 2008. Enacted a “Regions Law” that establishes procedures for the formation of federal regions in Iraq. The legislation delayed the effective date of implementation for a period of 18 months after enactment.
Passing and acting on laws to create an electoral commission, local election guidelines and a date for local elections. Commission law enacted and implemented, but supporting laws not enacted. The government has made satisfactory progress on 2 out of the 4 components of this benchmark.
Passing an amesty law. No law drafted. The preconditions for a general amnesty do not yet exist.
Passing a law to disarm militias. No law drafted. The preconditions for a Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration program in any post-conflict society are steep, and key elements such as political
reconciliation and security provided by the government do not yet exist.
Creating committees to support Baghdad security plan. Committees created. Through its February 2007 establishment of the Executive Steering Committee (ESC) nd related subcommittees, the Government of Iraq has established supporting political,
media, economic, and services committees in support of the Baghdad Security Plan.
Provide 3 brigades to support Baghdad plan. Forces provided; some of limited effectiveness. The Ministry of Defense has generated a total of 8 Iraqi Army Brigade Headquarters nd 27 Iraqi Army Battalions to support Baghdad operations. These units are actively
involved in joint and independent operations throughout Baghdad and the Baghdad belts.
Authorize Iraqi commanders to pursue security plan without political intervention. Political intervention continues. While the recent interventions by the Prime Minister and other government officials to urb sectarian bias are encouraging, the fear of being replaced for political or sectarian easons remains and continues to influence commanders’ decisions on which operations to undertake.
Ensure Iraqi security forces are even-handed in their enforcement of the law. Iraqi security forces engaged in sectarian based abuses. Through continued mentoring and partnership, additional training of ISF units, and ncreased emphasis by the Government of Iraq, even-handed enforcement of the law may ncreasingly become the norm, even in the absence of Coalition oversight.
Ensuring military is not a "safe haven" for outlaws. Militia infiltration of some security forces enables some safe havens. (Report describes security successes in Bahgdad but does not address issue of creating safe havens in milatary.)
Reduce sectarian violence and end militia control of local security. Militias control some local security; unclear whether sectarian violence has decreased. Where ISF and Coalition forces have conducted clear and hold operations, militia control has been significantly reduced. However, satisfactory progress has not been made toward eliminating militia control of local security, in other areas, as evidenced by continued.
Establish all security stations in Baghdad. 32 of 34 stations established. As of August 31, 2007, 30 of 33 planned joint security stations were operational and 31 Coalition combat outposts had achieved operational capability.
Increase number of Iraqi security forces that can work on their own. Number of independent units declined between March and July 2007. The number of units earning Operational Readiness Assessment level One ratings has not increased as much as desired.
Ensure the protection of minority rights in the legislature. Legislators' rights protected; minority citizens' rights unprotected. Article 37 of the Iraqi Constitution guarantees all Iraqis freedom to form and join associations and political parties.
Allocate $10 billion for reconstruction projects and distribute fairly. Funds allocated but unlikely to be fully spent. The full $10 billion capital budget is allocated, although spending units will not be able to spend all these funds by the end of 2007 given the long-term nature of some capital projects.
Ensure politicians don't undermine security forces through false accusations. Unsubstantiated accusations continue to be made. Progress is clearly being made in this area, though the overall effect is difficult to
accurately assess.
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